Taylor wins Junior Miss title

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 15, 2004

Katherine “Katie” Francell Taylor was named Dallas County Junior Miss 2005 at the end of the 29th annual event held on the lower floor of the Carl Morgan Convention Center Saturday night.

Her talent presentation was a tap dance to the tune of “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by Bette Midler.

The program is sponsored annually by the Civitan Club, together with area businesses and other community organizations.

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Taylor, one of 12 participants,

will represent Dallas County in the state competition to be held in Montgomery in December.

First runner up is Catherine Martin Gilmer and second runner up is Rachael Michelle Austin. Gilmer’s talent presentation was a tap dance to “Jump With My Baby” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Austin’s was a piano selection, “Forest Dawn” by Catherine Rollin.

Participants are judged on the basis of scholastics (20 percent), interview (25 percent), talent (25 percent), fitness (15 percent) and poise (15 percent).

Winners receive college scholarships from the Civitan Club.

A $3,000 cash tuition scholarship from the Civitan Club was presented to Taylor, a $2,000 scholarship to Gilmer, and a $1,500 scholarship to Austin. Each participant also received a silver tray from the club,

Four $300 scholarship awards were presented in the areas of fitness, poise, talent and scholastic.

There were two spirit awards given by the club with cash scholarship awards of $100 each and Revere bowls, and a $150 scholarship presented to the winner of Your Best Self Essay Award.

The spirit award is voted on by the participants.

Taylor, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Kent Taylor and a student at Morgan Academy, plans to attend either Alabama or Birmingham Southern and to study for a career in medicine. She hopes to become a general surgeon. Honors and activities at Morgan include Who’s Who of American High School Students; Beta Club; basketball, MVP, captain; cheerleading, head; track, most points scored in field events; Girl’s State; tennis, MVP; Top Ten of Miss Morgan, Miss Congeniality; AISA Treasurer, SGA; Interact Club.

Gilmer, the daughter of Mel and Catherine Gilmer and a student at Morgan Academy, has not yet made a decision on her college plans. She hopes to pursue a career in communications. Honors and activities at Morgan include National Honor Society; Senior Beta Club; Morgan Academy Christian Organization;

Selma-Dallas County Youth Leadership; Varsity Softball; 14 years of dancing and three years as a dance instructor; First Presbyterian Church Youth Group and Youth Ensemble; Camp Grist Honor Counselor; Mexico missionary; Relay for Life captain.

Austin, the daughter of Benny and Vickie Austin and a student at Morgan Academy, plans to attend the University of Mississippi and hopes to become a corporate financial analyst. Honors and activities at Morgan include National Honor Society; Beta Club; French and Science clubs; VP, Interact Club; cheerleader for five years; Adopt-A-Mile Volunteer; Relay for Life; Miss Morgan 2004; voted Who’s Who Most Talented;

UCA All-Star Cheerleader;

Who’s Who Among American High School Students (twice); ACE Team: History (fourth place team), History (first place team), English (first place individual); Morgan Academy Christian Organization; member, SGA; All-American Scholar; graduate of Selma-Dallas County Youth-In-Government and Youth Leadership; Pilgrimage Hostess.

The program began at 6:30 p.m. with the opening number followed by the welcome and introduction of emcee Dana Hall McCain, Dekalb County’s Junior Miss 1991. According to Bill Neighbors, a member of Civitan and chairperson of the Junior Miss program, McCain will help emcee the Alabama Junior Miss program in Montgomery in December.

In addition to the participants’ appearances, also included on the program was the introduction of the five judges – Kathy Clayton of Hoover, Brenda Berrey of Lake Jordan, Tamatha Broome of Laurel, Miss., Quesha S. Starks of Montgomery, and Gidget Zolczynski of Fairhope.

Event choreographer, Lisa Hicks Baker, a native Selmian, was also introduced. She has been teaching dance professionally with McConnell Twins Dance Studio for 22 years and is on staff of Selma Middle CHAT Academy.

Lindsey Nicole Bamberg, a 2004 graduate of Morgan Academy, made her final appearance as Dallas County Junior Miss 2004 before the announcement of prizes and the winners of the scholarship competition at the end of the program.

Additional entertainment was provided by Katherine Marie “Kay” Tidwell, Dallas County Junior Miss 1999 who sang, and two of last year’s talent winners – Kaysie Pomeroy Caper and Amy Cathlynn Edwards – who did tap dance routines.

In the printed program Bruce Til, president of the Civitan Club of Selma, thanked the Civitan Club members and

their families, program volunteers, participants and the business community for its support of the program.

Neighbors said this was his first year to be in charge of the program.

“I was very pleased with this year’s program. I’m glad I didn’t have to be a judge. All (of the participants) were winners,” he said. Neighbors said that 450 were in attendance and that the hall was nearly full.

The Saturday event was preceded by a morning brunch at which the 12 contestants were introduced to the judges, he said.